Questions for a stay-at-home mom

Our players spent about 10 minutes talking with each person in the group, asking them one question they had prepared and then letting things develop from there. Later, they gathered again to discuss what they learned about each other.

Interestingly, Carla and Sabrina returned to the living room wiping their eyes and laughing, in a weepy sort of way. “We’re coming!” they said. “We need another hour.”

“We just need a chocolate bar.”

“Oh, chocolate!”

Mim asks Sabrina, "What's the hardest part about being a pastor's wife?"

Here’s what the group asked Sabrina, and what they heard her say:

Q.Β  (From Louella) Do you feel people think of you as a pastor’s wife? Do you feel like people are watching how you’re handling your children?

A. In church, she does feel like people are watching her with the children, but the people really do support her.

Q. (From Mim)What’s the hardest part of being a pastor’s wife and having little children?

A. Sunday morning is the hardest (in church), especially getting the children ready by herself and staying with them by herself.

Q. (From Dot)Is there one thing that people say or ask that never stops being hurtful?

A. It really bothers her when people point out the stigma of there being no place on applications for a stay-at-home mom.

Q. (From Martha) What are you doing to nurture your marriage in a life with so many responsibilities?

A. Martha comments that although Sabrina is very apologetic and says, “We don’t really do much together,” in fact, they do: they pray together, they sit and talk together. “What more can you do?” asks Martha. Oh, and yes, they watch the Andy Griffith Show together, too.

Q. (From Naomi) As a young pastor’s wife, what are your needs that don’t get met? What do you yearn for?

A. She’d love more time with her husband, even if it’s just driving places together. And she’d love it if people close to her would volunteer to take the kids.

Q. (From Elnora, speaking as a mother-in-law) What kind word or deed would mean the most to you coming from your mother-in-law?

A. She enjoys hearing her mother-in-law say things like, “I appreciate the way you love my son and the way you raise my grandchildren.”

Q. (From Carla) How would you feel most supported by someone who gets out of the house?

A. Carla talks about the way she and Sabrina recognize that Carla has communication at work; they recognize that they live in the same community and that they should be focusing on how they can help each other.

Lynette jumps in on this one, picking up on the emotional undercurrents in Carla’s description of Sabrina’s answer. “This one needs so much sensitivity and communication. For you (Sabrina) to feel validated, the other can feel not validated, and it’s not true.”

Phyllis adds, “Women are encountering [these different spheres] at a relatively young age. It’s harder . . . at a younger age.”

And the echoes of Mommy Wars past and present fill the corners of the room. (Translation, for those unfamiliar with the term: Mommy Wars refers to tensions between women who make different parenting choices; it can be anything from working outside the home vs. working at home, to breastfeeding vs. bottlefeeding, to homeschooling vs. sending your children to public or private school.)

To our readers: What would you ask Sabrina?

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15 Responses to Questions for a stay-at-home mom

  1. Kristin Bucher says:

    Hi! I’m enjoying reading about your weekend.

    My question: Do you feel the calling to ministry is your husband’s calling for you to support? Or is the calling for your whole family, kiddos included?

    • Sabrina says:

      I think I have to answer this by say yes, and yes. πŸ™‚ The call to ministry is something Jeremy and I both feel, however our rolls are going to look much different. My main role for this time in life (small children) is to support him in his role. Are the kids included? They certainly are impacted by what their parents are doing, but I’m not sure that it’s any different than if Jeremy was a doctor or a doorman. πŸ™‚ What do you think?

      I really am curious to hear other comments on this. Great question, Kristen!

      • Joy (SAHM, 2 toddlers) says:

        Hi, I’ve enjoyed reading your input and look forward to hearing more over the next few months!

        Regarding this question, I tend to see my husband’s church involvements (youth leader, worship team, deacon, prayer team) as his own calling. However, that viewpoint can lead to resentment of his time (being away from us) as well as feelings of inadequacy on my part (that I’m currently a “non-contributing member” of society/church).

        I often need to (repeatedly) ask God to adjust my thinking and ask how I could be helping my husband in his ministries (if only by having an encouraging spirit) instead of dragging both myself and him down.

      • Patricia King says:

        Do you feel left out of your husbands’ calling? Like you are on the outer edge of it?

  2. Cheryl Lehman says:

    I LOVED reading about this experience and commend your vulnerability!
    A question: are you “the pastor’s wife” OR are you “Sabrina, married to a pastor?”

  3. ritanisly says:

    Thanks for all you’ve shared here, Sabrina. My admiration to you for your willingness to be a part of this. Your mom must be so proud of you! I’m going to be checking this site from time to time. -Rita

  4. Sabrina says:

    Joy, I can identify to the resentment that can come when a husband is involved a lot outside of the home. For some SAHM (stay-at-home-moms) their husbands are busy with work or hobbies.

    You hit the nail on the head when you said you feel like a β€œnon-contributing member” of society/church.” That is a lie many of us sahm’s feel. There is very little “fruit” or reward for the effort we put in each day. While our husbands, whether at work or in ministry, are the ones that receive the compliments and “rewards” that come when a job is well done, we often wonder if we are doing any good. Sometimes I worry I’m doing the opposite when it comes to my children!

    Asking God to rearrange our thinking is the place to start. I have been convicted over the past few weeks as to what my highest priorities really are. What are they and am I investing my time and energy into them? So much on this subject. Wish we could talk over coffee. πŸ™‚

  5. Sabrina says:

    Patricia, I am not sure if your question was for me or Joy. I do not feel left out of my husband’s calling. I really feel we are a team. Like I mentioned earlier, our rolls are just different.

  6. Heidi says:

    Sabrina – I relate so closely to what you share. I have no “higher education”, am a sahm (3 yr, 1 1/2 yr and 1 on the way), and am a pastors wife. I worked full time before we had children (7 yrs). I felt I should stay home once we had children, but had a difficult time with it the first few months and still struggle at times with feeling disconnected. I never thought about “non-contributing” member feelings. I am sure that is part of the reason staying home is difficult at times! Thanks so much for your openness!

    • Sabrina says:

      Heidi, you sure have your hands full! We continually need to ask ourselves if what we are believing about ourselves is truth or lies. It is a constant battle for me.

      I too have felt disconnected. Ask my husband. Sometimes he comes home from work and I find myself just talking and talking. Doesn’t really matter what it’s about, just so someone over 3 ft tall is listening. I have a very patient husband. πŸ™‚

      I would like to add that we as stay-at-home-mothers often have more chances to be involved in ladies groups at church or even plan play dates with other mothers with small children because we are free during the day. This is something that many mothers that work outside of the home are not often able to participate in. I am sure there are times they feel disconnected from other women in their church/lives because of their schedules. This is a great place for us to learn to reach out to each other. Thanks for your comment Heidi -you’ve got me thinking. πŸ™‚

  7. Kris Freed says:

    I love all this conversing! I’m have 4 kids and stay-at-home. My husband is also a youth pastor. I have found that I need to get out of the house and be with other moms. I love our library story time and have met some really neat women that way. I also coordinate a low key play group that meets once a week. I highly recommend starting a play group…start small and see what happens. πŸ™‚ I also make sure that I am really involved with the youth group. My husband and I both love the youth kids and have a lot of passion to show them what real Christians are like.
    It’s easy to get really “kid focused” but I think our own kids need to see us involved in other peoples lives and I also think that in our society kids tend to get a little too much attention. So, I guess I’m recommending paying a little less attention to your kids. πŸ™‚ (Btw, I sound like I have it all figured out…it’s not all so neat and pretty in reality.)

  8. Linda Shetler says:

    I am enjoying this exchange!! I was a SAHM (mother of 4) too until my youngest entered first grade. Now that I’ve been back teaching I look at those years at home and am so grateful that I was able to do that. When I was in the middle of it I wasn’t always grateful. I remember feeling isolated, lonely. My husband was often gone with his job as administrator and basketball coach as well as associate pastor, and I struggled sometimes to find purpose. In spite of the difficulty, I have such good memories of that time. Being a SAHM is a temporary stage but oh so valuable.

  9. Beth Diehl says:

    My husband is on his third and final year of IPS @ Rosedale, and I’m scared to death! I don’t know what God’s plans are, but I cannot imagine myself as a pastor’s wife. I feel so inadeqate, and feel like I wouldn’t have much wisdom to offer as a pastor’s wife – especially to someone older than me. Did you have those feelings? If so, how did you get past them?

    • Sabrina Lehman says:

      Beth, I know what you are feeling. I have felt it and still do. You mentioned God’s plans. I know when God calls us to something He gives us the grace and strength to do it. The key is remembering that He is the one that gives us the strength, grace, wisdom and calling. We do nothing on our own power -at least not for long.

      I have felt very inadequate many times. I daily ask for wisdom. I also ask for humility. I am NOTHING aside from God. Anything good that comes from me is a result of God working through me.

      Remember though that walking in humility does not mean we walk around with our head down saying I am nothing, I am nothing, I can not do anything! We are children of a King, who has given us incredible gifts and we are to use them in His kingdom.

      You are your husband’s wife, if God calls him to ministry He is calling you as well. Pray, pray, pray. He will give you what you need. πŸ™‚

      I know what you mean about relating to older people. Honestly, I look to them as people I can learn from. I may be a pastor’s wife, but that doesn’t mean I’m anything special or know everything (at least I hope that doesn’t mean that or I’m in trouble!) Once again, the wisdom to know what to say comes from the Creator of wisdom. If we can learn to know His voice He will speak through us. I often pray that if something is to be said the words will come to me. Sometimes a hug or a smile is all I have, but hopefully it means something.

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